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GRAVEYARD - review
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SICHGART
SICHGART
Do Zbroi!
(Dead Center Productions)
42:59min

Life is full of first times! This is a day like these. SICHGART from the Ukraine do not only present their first album "Do Zbroi!" (translated: "Call To Arms!"), but also the first album I ever heard that is sung entirely in Ukrainian. Some situations demand a little more effort... Therefore I asked Igor, a friend from the Ukraine, for help, yet the most important info he gave me was the fact that SICHGART do not use Russian (which is a completely different language) and that the name can't be properly translated, according to the band, it means 'a hardening battle'. SICHGART mainly sings about battles, swords and blood, all in the context of the history of their country. Music wise, SICHGART are completely focused on classical 1980s Thrash Metal, with a distinct Techno Thrash edge (anybody remembers this long lost term?). Which means, they are not offering new or even ground-breaking stuff. Yet, they play their music with passion and style. After the epic intro 'Prokin'sja, Voїn!' ('Rise Up, Warrior!' in English), 'Vershnik' ('Horseman') offers everything you want from Thrash Metal: double bass drumming, variable riffing somewhere in between technical ecstasy and shredding, all of this garnished with a shout-along chorus. And 'Krivaviy Brud' ('Bloody Dirt') even comes along with a METALLICA styled guitar solo in the beginning. But after the gloomier (fitting to the title) 'Morok' 33' ('Gloom' 33'), the level starts to flatten a little with 'Smert' Ne Virok' (Death Is Not A Sentence'). But don't get me wrong, this one, like the following title giving hymn 'Do Zbroi!' or the smasher 'Shljah Krіz' Peklo' ('Path Through Hell') are nice Thrashers as well, it's just the fact that they do not offer the nice little surprises of the first songs. Plus, there are some moments when I thought: "That's a break too much!" As a kind of bonus, "Do Zbroi!" offers a tune called 'Pidmanula', presented in the info as: 'You Tricked Me And Let Me Down, Bitch!', based upon 'Ti Zh Mene Pіdmanula', the full title. This one is an interpretation of a traditional Ukrainian folk song, SICHGART style, using the lyrics in combination with Thrash fury. A very nice way to end an album, that makes me hope for more, since "Do Zbroi!" promises a lot for a second album. Overall, SICHGART definitely offer nothing too spectacular, but very grounded and honest stuff. If you're into old fashioned Thrash, visit the band at www.facebook.com/pages/sichgart/1394628220750501, or the label at www.deadcenter666.com

Thomas Meyer

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